Students Celebrate Environment
Saad Adnan Khan
On Environment day, June 5, 2011, the Rural Services Foundation (RSF) celebrated nature and environment with galore and integrity. With the aim of raising awareness and educating young people about environment, RSF has been hosting a quiz competition among SSC students (Class 10) in 30 different upazillas in Bangladesh. It has been four years now that the RSF has been celebrating 'RSF Environment Day' every year on environment day. Subjects of the quiz are climate change, biodiversity, renewable energy and the 3R issues (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). A total of 444 top scorers were awarded during the ceremony. Cash money, certificates and crests were distributed as awards.
Rural Services Foundation (RSF) celebrate nature and environment with galore and integrity. courtesy : RSF
“We believe that the acknowledgment that these students are receiving through the awards, certificates and money will act as positive reinforcements. The fact that they studied for the quiz and now that they have won will encourage them more to know about environment and do something on their own,” says Ruhul Quddus, executive director of RSF.
The show started off with a skit that dealt with issues of biodiversity and climate change. A lonely tiger walks in a forest like ambiance and dies due to deforestation and lack of food. All throughout the show the popular puppets of Artist Mustafa Monowar -- Gittu and Shaar -- hovered behind a window frame next to the stage and provided the audience with messages about the environment in their playful ways. Dancers danced in green for the theme song Amrai pari gorte shobuj prithibi (We can build a green planet). An audio visual gave a dramatic touch to the whole show. The video clip presented human beings in black shadows in a rural setting (a village background) cutting off a crying tree for wood to cook and in consequence, facing adverse effects, like cyclones.
Artist Mustafa Monowar at the event, Courtesy : RSF
When some of the winners were asked how they felt, they were more than enthusiastic to share their thoughts. All of them have the vision and zest to do something for the country and eventually the world. “There should be more strict laws so people do not litter,” says Madhuri Moumita hailing from Potuakhali. “There is so much wastage of water, gas and electricity. There should be more awareness among people,” says Tanvir Ahmed hailing from Naogaon. “Dhaka smells so bad. People should not throw garbage anywhere they like,” says Md Shariful Islam from Rangpur. They also agreed that whatever career one end up pursuing in future, there is always a way to contribute to the preservation and protection of one's environment.
Chief Guest, Matia Chowdhury, Member of Parliament and the Minister for Agriculture, spoke about the potentials and problems in Bangladesh when it came to taking care of environment. She encouraged people to de-motivate real estate developers and factory owners who pollute rivers and canals. “We need to be more conscious of our potentials, for example - solar power and rain water conservation,” says Matia Chowdhury. Environmentalist and lawyer Rezwana Hasan, Executive Director of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), with her passionate rhetoric urged the youth to get involved in protecting environment. “When you set your priorities in life, prioritise environment as one of them,” says Rezwana Hasan. Artist, Mustafa Monowar ended the show by doing a painting for the audience. He used green to paint an abstract scene to symbolise the beauty of our nature.
RSF's efforts to initiate such an event is noteworthy. An environment festival every year will surely raise more awareness among people and encourage, not only the winners, but also the participants and other young people from different spheres to start thinking about environment.